By Smokin’, Humble Pie no longer had Peter Frampton but still sounded much like a band conquering Middle America. This is their fifth and (arguably) last great album, and it brings to the front bandleader Steve Marriott’s penchant for dirty R&B and his oddly listenable weed-trimmer vocals. It’s also the band’s biggest seller (it hit the U.S. Top 10). In fact, the entire record can be viewed as a roadmap into America’s early-’70s fascination with all things boogie rock ’n’ roll, from the wah-wah–burning “Hot ’N’ Nasty” to the chest-hair-raising “The Fixer” to the greasy lockdown anthem “30 Days in the Hole.” The gloriously sludgey versions of Eddie Cochran’s “C’Mon Everybody” and Junior Walker & The Allstars’ “(I’m A) Roadrunner” are highlights: total song reinventions that revealed how, in the days before ironic versions of cover songs, the band were keenly aware of their connection to, and love of, musical history. In that sense, Humble Pie were very much attached to American rhythm and blues. They just turned it up a notch, or 10.